Oppose Federal Vehicle Scrappage Program
Our efforts to prevent Congress from including a nationwide "Cash for Clunkers" program in the economic stimulus package has been successful - so far. Thousands of SEMA Action Network (SAN) enthusiasts and SEMA members contacted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in opposition to the plan. The Speaker's Office informed us that your emails, calls and faxes were received and, thanks to your work, Cash for Clunkers was not included in the economic stimulus package introduced in mid-January in the House of Representatives. Unfortunately, new legislation (S. 247 and H.R. 520) has been introduced in Congress to create a national vehicle scrappage program which will give U.S. tax dollars to consumers who turn-in their "gas guzzlers" to have them crushed. Lawmakers need to scrap this idea!
The so-called "Accelerated Retirement of Inefficient Vehicles Act" is Cash for Clunkers with a twist. Instead of focusing exclusively on older cars, this program would target vehicles with low fuel economy ratings of any model year. Participants would receive cash vouchers ranging from $2,500 to $4,500 based on the model year and whether the replacement vehicle was a more fuel-efficient new car or used car (MY 2004 or later). Fuel-efficient is defined as getting at least 25 percent better mileage for the corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) target for its class. The bill sponsors want to scrap up to one million cars a year for at least four years.
There is no evidence that the program would achieve the goal of boosting new car sales or increasing fuel mileage. Many states have considered scrappage programs in the past as a way to help clean the air or increase mpg, but abandoned the effort because they simply don't work. The programs are not cost-effective and do not achieve verifiable air quality or fuel economy benefits, but they do have a devastating impact on the many small businesses that market products and services for the scrapped cars.
Oppose the Use of U.S. Taxpayer Dollars for Accelerated Vehicle Retirement
*I am writing to urge lawmakers not to approve an "accelerated vehicle retirement" program. This is a misguided attempt to spur car sales and claim that the country's fleet fuel mileage is being improved.
*An accelerated vehicle retirement program is flawed since it does not target the "gross polluter," an improperly maintained vehicle of any make or model year that has poor fuel mileage and dramatically more emissions due to poor maintenance.
*An accelerated vehicle retirement program is flawed because it does not factor-in how many miles-a-year the collected vehicles are currently being driven. U.S. taxpayers will be buying rarely-driven second and third vehicles that have minimal impact on overall fuel economy and air pollution.
*Any vehicle scrappage program threatens enthusiasts nationwide with the loss of valuable parts and parts-cars for repair, restoration, and customization projects. An accelerated retirement program will reduce the availability of affordable transportation and repair parts used by low-income drivers. It will also compete with the Salvation Army, the Purple Heart and other charities that rely on vehicle donations to raise money.
*Accelerated vehicle retirement is just one of several "Cash for Clunkers" programs that has been proposed in Congress. The government should just focus on providing a tax incentive to help sell more fuel-efficient, cleaner cars - new or used. The government should not become a player in the vehicle scrappage/recycling industry. We have professionals that have been doing that job very well for the past 100 years.
*We hope we can count on you to reject "Accelerated Vehicle Retirement." Thank you for your consideration on this very important matter.
Contact Sen. Diane Feinstein to oppose S. 247
Call: (202) 224-3841
Fax: (202) 228-3954
Contact Henry Waxman to oppose HR 520
Call: (202) 225-2927
Fax: (202) 225-2525